Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries

FCC Modernizes E-Rate Program To Expand Robust Wi-Fi Networks In The Nation’s Schools and Libraries. Reforms to Expand Wi-Fi to 10 Million More Students, Thousands of Libraries Nationwide Next Year

The following updates to the E-rate program were aimed at furthering each of those goals:

  • To ensure affordable access to high-speed broadband sufficient to support digital learning in schools and robust connectivity for all libraries, we:
    • set an annual funding target of $1 billion for funding for internal connections needed to support high-speed broadband within schools and libraries;
    • test a more equitable approach to funding internal connections for applicants who seek support in funding years 2015 and 2016; and
    • reorient the E-rate program to focus on supporting high-speed broadband by phasing down support for voice services and eliminating support for other legacy services.
  •  To maximize the cost-effectiveness of spending for E-rate supported purchases, we:
    • adopt transparency measures to encourage sharing of cost and connectivity data;
    • encourage consortia purchasing; and
    • emphasize that providers must offer the lowest corresponding price.
  • To make the E-rate application process and other E-rate processes fast, simple and efficient, we:
    •   streamline the application process by:
      • simplifying the application process for multi-year contracts;
      • exempting low-cost, high-speed business-class broadband Internet access services from the competitive bidding requirements;
      • easing the signed contract requirement;
      • removing the technology plan requirement;
      • requiring electronic filings; and
      • enabling direct connections between schools and libraries.
    • simplify discount rate calculations by:
      • requiring a district-wide discount rate;
      • modifying the definition of urban and rural;
      • addressing changes to the national school lunch program (NSLP); and
      • modifying the requirements for applicants using surveys.
    • simplify the invoicing and disbursement process by:
      • allowing direct invoicing by schools and libraries; and
      • adopting an invoicing deadline.
    • create a Tribal consultation, training and outreach program.
    • require the filing of all universal service appeals initially with USAC.
    • direct USAC to adopt additional measures to improve the administration of the program by:
      • speeding review of applications, commitment decisions and disbursements;
      • modernizing USAC’s information technology systems;
      • adopting open data policies;
      • improving communications with E-rate applicants and providers.
    • protect against waste, fraud, and abuse by:
      • extending the document retention deadline; and
      • ensuring auditors and investigators access to an applicant’s premises upon request.

    Word : FCC-14-99A1.docx    FCC-14-99A2.docx    FCC-14-99A3.docx      FCC-14-99A4.docx    FCC-14-99A5.docx    FCC-14-99A6.docx

    Acrobat : FCC-14-99A1.pdf    FCC-14-99A2.pdf    FCC-14-99A3.pdf    FCC-14-99A4.pdf    FCC-14-99A5.pdf    FCC-14-99A6.pdf

    Text : FCC-14-99A1.txt    FCC-14-99A2.txt    FCC-14-99A3.txt    FCC-14-99A4.txt    FCC-14-99A5.txt    FCC-14-99A6.txt

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